At the beginning of an experiment, researchers must complete a literature review. A literature review allows the research team to understand the current state of research – what has been done before? What needs to be investigated? Is there disagreement or a consensus about the research topic of interest? Research study assistants assist the principal investigator by researching previous studies and experimental procedures.
Research assistants collect and log data in experimental studies by following the primary researcher’s established method and procedures. Additionally, they may assist in blood draws and prepare specimens for lab testing. They also keep records of participants and data on a research database and determine whether the data set is significantly significant by conducting statistical analyses. Research study assistants also convert research findings into graphs and tables and help the research team disseminate the results in posters, presentations, and reports. Research assistants also abide by all ethical guidelines, as determined by their Institutional Review Board (IRB) and research facilities, such as informed consent, privacy, and confidentiality.
Research study assistants may also assist in support tasks, such as cleaning, taking inventory, and ensuring the lab equipment’s quality. They may also prepare materials for the primary researchers by setting up the lab equipment and preparing the participant charts and data. Research assistants play a significant role in the study’s recruitment process. They schedule study participants to come in for trials and confirm study participant eligibility, as determined by the principal investigator’s selection criteria.